Surrey man found guilty of arson, threatening in 2015 Whalley house fire

Timothy Ralph Berg, 54, will be sentenced on July 29 after being found guilty of arson and threatening Thursday in Surrey provincial court

Scene of arson fire in Bolivar Heights in 2015

SURREY — Timothy Berg had enough.

The judge hadn’t quite finished with him when he stood up, shuffled over to the prisoner’s box, turned to everyone in courtroom 314 and offered up a hearty middle-finger salute.

“F—ck yourself, all of you,” he submitted to anyone who cared to listen, and then faced the door that separated him from his walk back to cells.

“Open the f—–g door!” he barked at the sheriff. Then he was gone.

Dressed in bright red jail garb and leg chains, Berg had sat next to his lawyer Jackie Percival, who played solitaire card games on her lap top computer as Judge Deanne Gaffar delivered her lengthy reasons for decision.

This was in Surrey provincial court on Thursday afternoon.

At the outset of the hearing Percival asked Gaffar if Berg could sit beside her at the lawyer’s table instead of in the prisoner’s box, and the judge granted her request.

Berg became agitated after Gaffar concluded her two-hour review of the minutiae of his case by convicting him of arson and uttering threats.

Berg will be sentenced on July 29. He wanted to be sentenced on the spot.

Percival told the judge her client “just wants to get this over with” but Gaffar advised that a pre-sentencing report be prepared given the gravity of the offence. Percival, and Crown prosecutor Mike Fortino, agreed.

Fortino said after the hearing concluded that he’ll be arguing for a federal prison sentence.

Gaffar found Berg guilty of setting on fire the deck of a house at 11462 142nd St., in Bolivar Heights, during the early morning hours of Oct. 10, 2015 after a woman inside did not reply to his many phone calls.

The house, which was described in court as a crack shack that had been the target of a number of home invasions since 2013, had to be demolished as a result of the fire. No one was physically injured.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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